TODD McFARLANE Discusses What It Takes to Get Started at Image Comics

TODD McFARLANE Discusses What It Takes to Get Started at Image Comics

TODD McFARLANE Discusses What It Takes to Get Started at Image Comics

With the debate raging lately over creator vs company rights, co-founder Todd McFarlane tells us what it takes to get your creator owned product going at Image Comics.

Over the last few weeks it seems we've been bombarded with news concerning lawsuits challenging comic character rights. Reports concerning numerous characters, their creators and respective comic companies have been an everyday occurrence.

NEWSaRAMA had the opportunity to sit down with fan favorite Spider-Man artist and SPAWN creator Todd McFarlane, who also happens to be one of the men who spearheaded the Creator Owned movement at Image Comics in the early 90's. Now, 20 years after it's inception, Image co founder McFarlane had plenty to say on the topic of creator rights. He also offers his opinion concerning various lawsuits that have been making recent headlines. What follows is just a small portion of the interview in which McFarlane tells us some of the tribulations you can expect to encounter when starting your own creator owned title at Image.


I think that when we came out of the gate and we offered the deal to creators who wanted to jump on board the bandwagon, it was the best deal that was out there, and 20 years later, it's still the best deal. Nobody offers what we offer right now. You know?

The down side of it, which is frustrating to me, as a guy who just always wanted to get out of his cage and at least try to run around free for awhile, is that a lot of people aren't willing to take that leap. Because we don't own anything at Image, we also don't pay you anything. So it's all on you to start with. So you can put a book out at Image, and you can own it, but you've got to put a team together, convince everybody to do it or just fund it yourself or whatever. But they don't get any money from the sales of that until we solicit, sell it and we collect it and give it back to you. So that means there's about a three to four month window where you have to sustain yourself somehow. Somehow. I don't know how you do it, one way or the other.

But from my perspective, I would beg, borrow and steal any and everything that I could. I'd hit up my mom, my dad and my relatives. I mean, anything I could to get enough money to eat macaroni and cheese so that I could survive and keep the electricity on for three months and hope that when that book finally hits the shelf and I collect the money, because I'm going to get the pre-orders, that I can now basically do this book for a hundred issues. And I've run into, sadly from my perspective, way too many guys that have let 90 days of living a bit of a lower standard of life dictate the next 10 years of their life. It's incomprehensible to a guy like me. Are you kidding me? I'd live on the streets for 90 days to just get that opportunity.

And in a bizarre way, they've actually offered to sell their idea to us if we give them a paycheck. And I'm thinking, wow, that's counter to why you'd want to work with Image. Our whole point is for you to own it. Own it yourself.

Hawksblueyes: There is much, much more to this interview with McFarlane at To read it in it's entirety (and I recommend you do) click on the link below.

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